Hotels in Ukraine
Accommodation In Ukraine
Seasoned travellers to Ukraine will have long realised that any national hotel star system is best ignored. The official hotel standards process in the country is notoriously unreliable, which can be particularly bewildering given the vast range of hotel rooms available.
New hotels are springing up so quickly across the country that the standards can't keep pace, especially in the major cities in the build-up to Euro 2012.
This greater degree of competition, of course, means a greater opportunity for bargains - but guard against becoming too particular, particularly in the summer months. Most establishments, regardless of how uninviting they appear from the outside, will be booked well in advance.
Also, the rapid pace of construction - especially that of western-style hotels familiar to football-loving visitors - means that rooms, facilities and services are often actually undergoing renovation. This might well leave you without some of the basics, notably hot water (in low and mid-range hotels, hot water is often unavailable and it is worth running a tap yourself to check).
Some budget establishments post a hot water schedule in the foyer or even turn off the hot water system in the summer months to save money.
Small and variable "crash pads" that are still left over from the days of Soviet rule are available on an ad hoc basis. While, at the other end of the scale, six-starred luxury suites which are targeted primarily at western tourists more often than not do quite live up to their billing - unless you're prepared to pay the very highest rates.
Remember that older Soviet hotels usually offer the full range of rooms, so a tired façade might not necessarily mean grotty accommodation. Moreover, it is considered reasonable to check the room up front before you fork out to stay.
Remember also that sometimes a "luxury" room has been renovated to a higher standard - but sometimes it's just larger and not necessarily more desirable.
Booking.com has a large number of hotels in Ukraine to compare prices and book online.
Below is a summary of the accommodation options in the four host cities during Euro 2012 and beyond.
Competition in the capital Kiev has become fierce over the past decade as - despite a series of swanky establishments having been rapidly constructed as the city has blossomed in the eyes of westerners - demand continues to outstrip supply.
Given the speed at which new hotels and apartments have been constructed and reconstructed in Kiev and the still remaining gap between supply and demand, the standards system is particularly untrustworthy where every hotel thinks of itself as offering "luxury" of some description.
The city's leading hotels have eye-watering prices (the grandest suites at the renowned Premier Palace cost close to £3000 per night) at any time of the year let alone when a tournament the stature of the European Championship is in town.
However, budget rooms for single travellers in the city centre are especially hard to find, while Kiev's hostels tend to be out of town. If you're travelling in a group of three or four, it often pays to club together for a room in a mid-range hotel in the centre - or better still rent an apartment. Those in the know claim that this option is still be best value for money in the capital.
For wacky themed hotels that sprung up during the post-independence days, Camelot doesn't disappoint as an establishment devoted to 13th century Britain and the Knights of the Round Table. Meanwhile, Dneprovsky is a permanently anchored barge on the River Dnepr featuring rooms with mirrored headboards and jacuzzis.
The best hotels for the Olympic Stadium in the Pechersk district are Hotel Rus - which has hundreds of clean rooms and helpful staff - and the aptly Hotel Sport. The latter, however, really only has its prime location this summer in its favour.
For a complete listing of hotels in Kiev check the available options below.
Premier Palace Hotel, Kiev, Ukraine
Kharkiv 's status as Ukraine's second city for tourists has prompted an unprecedented development program across the conurbation, and its hotels have been no exception.
As in Kiev, Kharkiv's hotel market has been striving over the past few years to complete its building work ahead of June's European Championships, with many well-known establishments pulling out all the stops to entice western football fans.
Metallist Stadium, the Euro 2012 venue in the city, is approximately 3 km south of the city centre, so it's best to avoid hotels that are too far to the north.
In terms of budget accommodation, the most centrally located hotel to the stadium is Hotel Gloria, although it does also offer “luxury” rooms and most combinations in between. It's situated just 100 m from the entrance to the stadium.
Look out too for The Metallist, which offers bearable facilities but, as the name suggests, an ideal location.
At the other extreme, the Cosmopolit Art Hotel is considered by many to be the trendiest hotel in the whole of Ukraine. The Cosmopolit features gadgets galore, an Italian themed restaurant by the name of the Da Vinci Code and sleek, ultra-hip sleeping accommodation. The Chichikov Hotel is a well-situated central accommodation as is the excellent Gostiny Dvor Hotel and the 4-star Hotel Kharkov.
For a complete listing of hotels in Kharkiv check the available options below.
Although prices have increased rapidly in recent times, you still tend to get what you pay for in Donetsk.
Headlining the city's hotel selection is the Donbass Palace, which remains head and shoulders above its competitors.
Just to give you a flavour of its refined elegance, the twin-level Royal Suite at the Palace offers a dedicated 24-hour butler service, whirlpool bath and a private chef. However, the cheaper rooms will seem just as luxurious to most visitors.
Another good, upmarket hotel is the Ramada Donetsk Hotel, situated in the middle of Donetsk on the pleasant Kalmius River.
Budget offerings are scarce in Donetsk, so consider basing yourself as close to the Donbass Arena as possible.
Hotel Center Victoria offers rooms to rival the Palace but with more space in the vicinity because of its out-of-town setting. The hotel has filled this extra room with four tennis courts, a bowling alley and a gym which boasts TVs on every treadmill.
The 4-star Shakhtar Plaza is only a short walk away from the stadium. The Plaza has 322 rooms and a luxurious restaurant serving European and Ukrainian cuisine.
Another hotel to look out for because of its proximity to the Arena is Art Hotel Liverpool, which is just 1 km from the stadium, although the prevailing Beatles theme might not be to everyone's taste.
For a complete listing of hotels in Donetsk check the available options below.
Lviv, considered to be Ukraine's most elegant and tourist-friendly city, has witnessed a 40% increase in tourist numbers in the past two years according to some estimations, and it's easy to see why with its picturesque architecture and cosmopolitan outlook.
Hotel openings are steadily catching up with the rapid rise in arrivals, and most establishments should be completed by the time Euro 2012 rolls around in June. That said, the city has always been a step ahead in the quality of its offerings.
The Grand Hotel has long been the benchmark for splendour and traditional charm, although this classic hotel is starting to be caught up by some of the city's younger upstarts, such as Opera Hotel; located opposite the Opera House and the beautifully named Lion's Castle Hotel. The Leopolis continues the lion theme and is excellent accommodation near Rynok Square with free Wi-Fi and a flat screen TV.
For a location close to the action at Arena Lviv, you can't beat Kopa, a new hotel and restaurant complex that is officially four stars (although as elsewhere in Ukraine, this fact should be used as a guide only).
Enei Hotel, a boutique establishment on the southern side of town, also comes highly recommended.
For a complete listing of hotels in Lviv check the available options below.